Chicago Essay Format: Basic Information

Updated: Oct 31, 2016

Chicago style referencing is one of the less popular referencing styles in the academia. Yet, it is still widely used by scholars & researchers all over the world. The basic document explaining the rules & standards of Chicago style is called “The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition”, organization's website is chicagomanualofstyle.org. The manual itself is available for sale at online bookstores; however, there is also a great deal of information about this style online. 

Whatever type of referencing you have, Privatewriting is able to provide the research and reference it according to your specifications. We have delivered literary thousands of papers and formatted them according to MLA, APA, Harvard & Chicago styles to our customers’ satisfaction.

Paper. Use standard white A4 paper (8.5”x11”).

Font. Use a legible font like Times New Roman, size 12.

Margins. Margins should be from 1” to 1.5” inches on all sides.

Page numbering. The title page is not numbered. The next page after the title one starts with ‘1’ in the upper right-hand corner. Arabic numerals are used for page numbers; pages are numbered consecutively.

Title Page

1. Type the title of your paper in UPPER CASE.
2. Place it one-third down from the top of the page, you will need to press Enter 7 times. Center your title.
3. Hit Enter 8 times.
5. Type your first name and last name. Press Enter
6. Type the name of your class. Press Enter
7. Type the current date.

Here is a sample title page arranged according to Chicago Style.

Spacing. Use double space throughout your paper.

Indentation. Every new paragraph should be indented. Press TAB to indent your text.

Citation. There are two major ways of citing your sources: footnote format & endnote format. Some scholars call footnote format Chicago Style 16A, while endnote format is called Chicago Style 16B. Schematically, here is what the Chicago Style looks like:

Footnotes/Endnotes or Author-Date system? Which format is right for me?

The short answer would be: refer to your assignment requirements. If you can’t see it or there is no specific requirement, use the following information to determine correct formatting.

Footnote/ Endnote style is mostly preferred in such branches of science as literature, history, and arts. So, if it applies to you, choose that option.

The author-date style is used in the social sciences, so if you study things like economics, history, law, linguistics, psychology, sociology, international relations, anthropology, communication, education, culture, and couple other socially oriented disciplines, the endnote style is exactly what you want.

Footnote/Endnote Style

Footnote/Endnote style requires the use of superscript numbers following the quote or the information taken from a given book/journal. Footnotes/Endnotes are numbered consecutively and their listing on the bibliography page is not necessarily alphabetical – instead, they are numbered in order of appearance. Every superscript number should have corresponding information about the author & the publication in the footnote section or the bibliography page.

Footnotes VS Endnotes

The major difference between footnotes and endnotes is that footnotes contain information about bibliography at the end of the page (at the footer), while the endnote style implies that information about your books is provided at the very end of your paper, in the bibliography section. Hence their names: footnotes come at the foot of the page, while endnotes are placed at its end.

Author/Date Style

This style is often called the ‘bibliography style’ or ‘Chicago Style 16B’. In its form, it’s very similar to APA or MLA style formatting since it requires the author to cite the author by the last name and provide the year of publication in parentheses.

This style requires no numbering of your sources, in contrast, all of your books, journals, articles should be listed in alphabetical order on a separate page called ‘bibliography’ or ‘references’. Every entry should start with a new line and have the so-called ‘hanging line’ protruding into the margin by 1 inch.

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